A reader (who is a Wall Street professional) just sent me a special request, and I'd like to ask as many of you to help out as possible. It will cost you absolutely nothing beyond the few minutes involved in writing a veteran an email.
According to http://www.awarriorwish.org/ the Warrior's Wish Foundation, it is the "1st nonprofit Wish-Granting Organization exclusively serving Veterans of the United States who are battling terminal illness or facing challenges from service connected injury."
Ron Lockhart is apparently a Vietnam veteran with a life-threatening aneurysm. I am told that he sleeps as much as 18 hours a day but still has moments when he is able to get in his wheelchair and move about freely in his house. Ron logs on to his computer and a lot of times his wife, Kathleen, reads his email aloud for him.
Kim Curran of Warrior's Wish Foundation firstname.lastname@example.org has confirmed the situation to me and has asked that as many folks as possible please send Ron your holiday wishes and thoughts by email.
Compared to the last few years, things just don't seem as bleak. We appear to be emerging from the depths of the Great Recession, but, at best, we have a tenuous grip on the thin ledge of recovery.
Still . . . isn't that's pretty much what life is and has always been?
Struggles. And overcoming them.
Failing. And getting back up on our feet.
Sometimes, the only satisfaction we get from fighting the good fight is the taste of our own blood in our mouth. Nonetheless, even that spittle is the affirmation that we survived.
In another age, the world had emerged from the horrors of World War II only to enter the Cold War and the threat of nuclear annihilation. Then, as now, the world seemed to be cracking apart. However, against such a background, about two weeks before Christmas Day 1950, the American author William Faulkner delivered a speech in honor of his having been awarded the Nobel Prize of Literature in 1949. Please consider Faulkner's inspirational words in this excerpt:
[I] decline to accept the end of man. It is easy enough to say that man is immortal simply because he will endure: that when the last dingdong of doom has clanged and faded from the last worthless rock hanging tideless in the last red and dying evening, that even then there will still be one more sound: that of his puny inexhaustible voice, still talking.
I refuse to accept this. I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. . .
Where Faulkner and I part company is concerning the nature of that voice on that last red and dying evening. That inexhaustible voice on that final day, should it ever come, will not be puny. To the contrary, it will sound like this (if the video does not load in your browser, click HERE):
I wish you and your family a happy and healthy holiday!